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Portland State University launches research centre for smart cities

Portland State University has announced the creation of a university research centre focused on smart and sustainable cities. It is also launching a second research centre for tackling homelessness.


The Portland State University (PSU) Digital City Testbed Center will explore how technology can make cities more safe, accessible, economically viable, healthy and climate-friendly, while also addressing concerns about privacy, security and equity.


The centre will co-ordinate a network of academic, corporate and museum campuses in the Pacific Northwest where cities, companies, university researchers and the public can evaluate new technologies before installing them in communities.

The smart cities research centre will also focus on engaging PSU students in research that promotes the “responsible adoption” and public acceptance of smart city technologies.


The smart cities research centre will also focus on the “responsible adoption” and public acceptance of smart city technologies.

The PSU Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative will work to find solutions to reduce homelessness, understand its root causes, and use evidence-based science to empower community leaders, elected officials, frontline-service providers, and advocates to make informed decisions.

The centres will be housed at PSU’s downtown campus. PSU will provide $500,000 seed funding per year for each centre for three years.


Addressing critical issues

PSU President, Rahmat Shoureshi, said: “Portland State’s mission is to use our vast knowledge and expertise to serve the city by addressing its most critical issues. Creating these two university research centres was a high priority for me to fulfil our mission. Both centres will expand upon the existing research and scholarship our renowned faculty have produced in these areas to find innovative and effective solutions for the future.”

Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler, said PSU’s Digital City Testbed Center will “help advance smart city innovation. Together, these investments will unite the City of Portland and the university in a collective effort to promote the success of our city and our citizens.”


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